Despite our many advances in society and on the internet, one problem that is far more prominent than it should be is scam locksmith companies. Fake locksmiths prey on those in need by placing enticing Google Ads that offer low rates and fast responses, only to arrive late and charge exorbitant prices. After they arrive late and change their price, they may lie to you again saying your lock can’t be picked and must be drilled. This will cost you a lot of time and money, as well as leave you with a broken lock.
At Pop-A-Lock, we have an up close and personal view of the people who are taken advantage of and the problem itself. That’s why we created this blog to provide you with helpful tips that will make sure you never, under any circumstances, fall victim to locksmith scammers.
Get A Spare Key
This is the “stop the problem before it starts” method. Having a spare key is an affordable option to this expensive problem that can save you when the time comes. You’ve locked yourself out of your car and your day is ruined, but wait, you remember you have your spare key with you! By keeping a spare key on you at all times, you will never be locked out of your car. Depending on the type of key and the model of the car, your key could be an incredibly affordable solution. This also provides you with the opportunity to meet a certified locksmith face-to-face, which can be a major help when an emergency situation occurs.
Pay Attention To Google
Google pays attention to the businesses they list on their search engine, and a lot of work and research goes into where they rank these businesses. Google accounts for everything from page content to consumer reviews to decide who ranks where in their searches. That being said, the one thing Google does not control is the Ads on the top of every Google search.
Ads can be bought by anyone and often go to the highest bidder, and that’s where locksmith scammers thrive. They utilize each-catching taglines like “$20 Locksmith” or “10 Minute Locksmiths.” Obviously, these are tempting offers but if they’re scammers, the ads are always untrue. So, if you see a Google Ad for a locksmith, look for their corresponding rank on Google Search or click on their site to see if it looks legitimate.
Finally, beware of Google Ads that are similar but not identical to verified locksmith companies. Many locksmith scammers are actually trying to impersonate verified locksmiths to get your business.
Look For The Tell-Tale Signs of A Scammer
Once you’ve made the call to a locksmith, look for the signs that you’re being scammed. Locksmith scammers will fail to meet every single expectation that you may have. If they say they’ll be there in 20 minutes, they’ll likely take much longer. If they said their service would cost $20-$50, make sure they change that price when they get there. At the end of it all, if they struggle with your lock because they are not a certified locksmith and then tell you that your lock cannot be picked, that will usually result in the fake locksmith taking a drill to your lock and destroying it entirely. Sure you’re no longer locked out, but now you need a new lock.
Look for a locksmith to arrive on time in a marked van and uniform and make sure they provide the service at the price promised. Above all, no well-trained locksmith will ever break your lock with a drill.
If you find yourself with a fake locksmith, do not hesitate to stop him from touching your lock. If the locksmith arrives an hour late, charges $100 or more than they quoted you, or goes to use a drill, don’t hesitate to stop them from working. Ask them to leave and do not pay them and if they refuse to leave, call the police. Do not let yourself be taken advantage of by these scam artists, and make sure you call a verified locksmith.
It’s important to us that the people of Seattle are informed enough to make sure they’re never taken advantage of by locksmith scammers. We understand that you may be in a bind and need a locksmith fast, but it is our sincere hope that you protect yourself against scammers and find a reputable locksmith at an affordable price!